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just read this interesting topic

Dear IS300 Owner:

As the Lexus of sports sedans, you IS 300 is factory equipped with highly specialized tires which provide exceptional handling and performance. In recent months, Lexus has received reports of "bulges" or "bumps" appearing on sidewall of these high performance tires. Lexus cares greatly about our customers and an extensive investigation was conducted by its engineers to determine the root cause of this condition.

High Performance Tires

The factory-equipped tires of your IS 300 carry the designated 215/45 ZR17. The “45” represents the tire’s sidewall height in relation to its tread width expressed as a percentage. As this percentage decreases, there is an increase to the overall traction and control of your vehicle under normal driving conditions. However, there is a trade-off as this percentage is decreased in terms of ride comfort and susceptibility to damage from external impacts, particularly if the specified tire air pressure is not maintained. Standard, non-high-performance passenger vehicles are equipped with tires which have a height-to-width ration of 65 or greater.

Lexus cares about our customers

Our engineers have found that the visual presence of such “bulges” indicates that the fabric reinforcement, or body-ply, contained within the sidewall of the tire was damaged. Such-body-ply damage is typically caused by impact with a curb or driving through potholes, and does not influence vehicle performance or safety. Although this type of damage is typically not covered by the tire manufacturer’s warranty, we at Lexus care about your peace-of-mind and have made arrangements for the following one-time service.

Any Lexus dealer will replace at no charge to you the factory-equipped tires, including the spare tire, with more robust tires of the same size and brand, or comparable IS 300 original equipment brand, until October 31, 2002. This will be offered provided your new car tire warranty is in effect (see the “What is covered and How Long” or “Coverage” section for your 2001 Lexus Owner’s Manual Supplement, Tire Warranty section by tire manufacturer). Replacement service includes the cost of mounting and balancing, are covered. Other road hazards, punctures, abuse, negligence, front wheel alignment, wheel impact damage, improper maintenance or normal wear and tear are not covered by this service.

What should you do?

Please provide the brand of the original equipment tires on your vehicle and the order number located at the bottom right-hand corner of this letter when you call your Lexus dealer to make an appointment. This service takes about 2 hours, however, depending upon the dealer’s work schedule, it may be necessary to make your vehicle available for a longer period of time. Please present this notice to the dealer when you bring the vehicle in for your service appointment.

If you have previously replaced a tire at your own cost for the “bulge” condition and seek reimbursement consideration, please contact your local Lexus dealer or the Lexus Customer Assistance Center with the appropriate documentation.

It is necessary to remember that proper tire maintenance and care are vital to your safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Thank you for driving a Lexus.

Sincerely

Lexus Division

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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